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Shooting the Moon

moon rise

I don’t think I’ve said it yet on this blog – I love space. I love the moon. I am envious that people have walked on it and that I never will, but I also know I would probably never choose to enter space of my own accord. I like oxygen too much. I have to content myself with photographs and text when it comes to space.

I’ve gone through and found a few photos of my foray into photographing the moon, and thought I’d enlighten you, my reader, on the the changes I have undertaken in this pursuit.

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This is one of my first attempts. Overexposed and bleh, but we all have to start somewhere. This was taken in the January 2014, when I was first getting into photography. I was reading up mostly about stars at that time and didn’t understand the exposure triangle. If I was to take this shot again, my base settings would be f/11, 1/125, ISO 100 and then I’d adjust from there.


blood moon practice

This was taken in October 2014, around the time of an eclipse and is a lot better on the exposure front. The main problem with this photograph is the obviously soft focus. I now use a smaller aperture for a wider depth of field and I like to manually focus on the moon, as I don’t feel like my camera ever got a nice auto-focus (though some people suggest their camera would).


moon rise

I am particularly proud of this photo of the moon. I took this in April 2015 (it was also taken as practice for an eclipse). It is taken with all of the same gear I had since the first image, I’ve just learned to use it better. My settings for this photo were 1/80, f/8, ISO 100. This was taken with a tripod and a cable release.

With this photo I have taken some creative license by giving the moon that golden glow and rotating it.


Blood Moon

This photo was reasonably difficult to take. Although taken only a few nights after the previous shot, I learned that an eclipse photographs quite differently. The moon loses all of it’s texture during an eclipse as the light is coming from straight on, so one misses out on all of the nice shadows on the craters and mountains.

Tips for photographing the moon:

  • Use a low ISO
  • Don’t have a slow shutter! The moon moves pretty quickly
  • Close up your aperture as much as you can. You want to retain as much sharpness as possible
  • Sharpen!
  • Don’t expect immediate results
  • Although it is possible to take hand held photographs of the moon, I prefer a tripod

Check out some more of my Astrophotography on my Facebook page.


So, what do you think ?

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